life, pt. 1


Eris showed up on my doorstep again. It had been years since we'd interacted at all and there she was, sitting on the porch just like she did when we were in high school, except now she was a little more guarded, and though her smile was sincere it was also not the kind of smile you give to someone you think of as a friend.

I let her in and offered her a beer, and she took the easy chair while I took the sofa and she told me in conversational tones how a meteor had fallen on her house and she decided it was probably a good time to go on vacation. So she took the cash she had left and jumped on a bus and drove across the country, and now here she was, sharing a beer with me almost like she'd never left.

"You don't really look like someone who's just lost all their worldly possessions in a freak accident," I said.

And she just shrugged, and said, "I don't know. That's life, I guess."

It took me a while to figure out why that bothered me. Something about the phrase put me on edge until she was gone again. And I think it was this: I could never believe that life is just a sequence of freak accidents and disasters. We were ultimately terrible for each other, of course, but in between all of that we had such beautiful moments. Moments that probably led her to come here on a whim, moments that convinced me to invite her in against my better judgment. To just dismiss it all with a shrug and a "that's life" made it all seem so cheap.

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